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Short Escape to man made hill station – “LAVASSA”!!

I was thinking since long, to write about my short vacation to Lavassa ( man-made hill station) which is 150 kms from Navi Mumbai (add another 30-35 kms if you are travelling from Mumbai). This place is near to Pune and is mostly frequented by people around it and Mumbai.

As it is our anniversary month, we usually go out of Mumbai to celebrate it. This time we decided to visit this beautiful place – “Lavassa”. Fortunately, some of our friends too joined in and we were now four couples visiting it. It was like icing on the cake, as special days become more special if you have friends around. We started around 7.30 am from Navi Mumbai and reached Lavassa around 12.15 pm. Normally it takes three and a half hours to reach this place but we were late as we took break in between, for breakfast. You will only find two food courts on the highway. If you don’t stop at any of these, then you can have something when you reach Pune or your destination (Lavassa).

We thoroughly enjoyed the drive towards Lavassa. We took two cars as we were four couples visiting the place. I had a nice time enjoying the journey as this was the first time I was sitting on the front seat while my friend was driving the car. Our husbands were seated on rear seats and were on the job of baby sitting. This was an experience for all of us, as we ladies girls got to enjoy our free time while our husbands had great time with kids (how much great it was, only they can tell! LOLs).

When we crossed Pune, the roads started becoming narrow to a single lane. My friend was driving cautiously as road is in a complete zig zag pattern. Except her, we all had a liberty to enjoy breathtaking views of clouds hovering the hills and amazing scenic beauty of this heavenly place. To reach Lavassa you need to first climb up the hill and then step down. If you look from top of the hill it looks amazing.

Sharing a pic which we took while on our way to it:

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We stayed at “The Waterfront Shaw” one of the good hotels of Lavassa. It has a nice lake view from hotel room where you can see people enjoying on the promenade, kids playing and the beautiful scenic view. When we reached this place it was almost noon and we were getting hungrier. We went to our rooms, changed and came down to hunt for a nice restaurant. What we felt is that places to eat are bit expensive here, though you will find some good brands catering to visitors. As we were very hungry, we decided to dine at ” Chor Bizzare” a branch of famous Chor Bizzare of Delhi. It has a nice ambience with kaleidoscopic interiors and Wazwan inspired cooking. As we were mostly vegetarians in our group we went with veg options. They took considerable time to serve us the food and we tried to supress our hunger by gobbling on papads served as complimentary snack. The food was really nice and hence it was worth the wait. We felt to go and sleep in our room after eating delicious meal but the aura outside stopped us to do so. Everything here was so beautiful, calm, serene that I had a feeling that time should stop. Lavassa, I should say, is the cleanest place which I have visited in India.

This place is located in the valley formed by seven hills and hence has amazing views. Apart from views, this place has many entertainment options too, and thus is a combination of hill station cum entertainment center. This place is loved by all age groups as it has everything for everyone. The Lakeshore water sports activities were closed considering the monsoon season and hence we could not do any. They have options such as water cruise, jet ski, kayaking and aqua volley ball. I just so wished to do some of them but to my bad luck it was closed. They have other adventurous option such as trekking, hiking, ziplining, rappelling etc. but we were not interested doing it as we went with kids.

We enjoyed doing some light activities on promenade  like cycling, playing with ball etc and most importantly relaxing and chatting over a cup of tea/coffee.

We woke up early in the morning and enjoyed walking near the lake. The air was fresh and it felt like heaven sitting near it. We had a sumptuous breakfast at “The All American Dinner Restaurant” which was complimentary for us since we stayed at their resort.

11725221_10153466799282472_950257916_oSon and Dad morning walk

It had started drizzling when we started back towards our home at 11.00 am feeling rejuvenated. This was a short vacation for us and we were feeling relaxed and joyful. All of us had a great time especially our two young boys (three-year old).

11724722_10153466447702472_1345563081_oBoys enjoying cycling

We all need to take such short breaks from our routine life and escape for these short vacations to return relaxed and rejuvenated.

1655041_10153045478003831_411424846573462803_oOur clan!!

Simply loved this place – Lavassa!!

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“M” for Mumbai and M” for Monsoons…. Simply Mindblowing!!

If somebody ask me one question “What do you like the best of Mumbai”? My answer will be just one word “Monsoon”. Mumbai is at its best during this season. You will only experience two seasons here in Mumbai, either summers or monsoons. Both these seasons are extreme. For me, summers pass in hope that monsoon will soon arrive.

I used to love rains since childhood days but reason to love it, has changed once I came to Mumbai after marriage. At my home town, if it rained for entire day, we were confined in our homes watching TV and playing indoor games. After much persuasion, we were allowed to get drenched or play in rains, which also stopped in some hours. An unannounced holiday seemed to happen, if it rained continuously. But life is very different in Mumbai. This is a city which never sleeps and stops, unless its lifeline (local trains) comes to a halt.

Today it’s Friday and it is raining since last 24 hours. Local trains services are suspended and major areas of the cities are flooded. Schools, colleges and offices are closed and people here in Mumbai have got an extended weekend to enjoy with family. I know there are many pros and cons of monsoon. But all of these are gone once you enjoy the rains at some of must go places in Mumbai and Navi Mumbai.

  • Marine Drive:603642411_f2a917cb5c_bWhat else will you expect in life, when you will be walking hand in hand with your partner, amidst rains, with splash of water over you!! Yeah, all these things you can experience right at this place. I just love walking alongside this stretch (also known as Queens Necklace), sipping hot tea with a plate of bhajjias. Don’t forget yourself to satisfy your growling stomach with bhutta (roasted corn), chana chor garam, chai sold by many street vendors. I bet you will have a feeling of ecstasy.
  • Drive of Bandra Worli Sea Link:BKCIt’s an experience to drive through this bridge which connects Worli to Bandra. You will get a spectacular view of Arabian sea and it is awesome during rains. The picture describes it all. I bet no words can explain the feeling, you will have, after riding on this 5.6 km stretch.

 

  • Drive on Palm Beach Road:palmIf you are a driving enthusiast and are in a mood to go on a short drive in rains, this is one road stretch (around 10 Km starting from Vashi flyover) which is a worth try. Anyone, like me, who stays in Navi Mumbai has definitely tried it and love the spectacular view one gets. You will find clouds over hills, waterfalls and lush green stretch with high rises along side. It’s like starters on the plate before main course being served (if you head to places out of Mumbai which are awesome in monsoon).
  • Lonavala:lonavalaYou will find yourself visiting a fairyland as you head towards most sought destination “Lonavala”. This is approximately 110 Kms drive from Mumbai is lush green during monsoons. The roads covered with clouds and are at its best during monsoons. You will not find a single soul who has not been or heard about this place.
  • Last but not the least if you are a person who loves staying at home, nothing can beat the feeling of reading a book and enjoy the rain drops hitting your window panes. You can indulge yourself watching some nice romantic movie with your loved ones and have hot snacks with a cup of tea.

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In this post I have tried to list some of must go things which can be done in a rainy day. Else there are many other places around Mumbai which are a must visit. I will  try to write my experiences on places I have visited in my coming posts.

Will love to hear about what do you guys love doing most on a rainy day!!